The Castle Grayskull was the place where He Man got his powers. It was considered the home base for the good guys and was located on the imaginary planet Eternia. It is the place that all the bad guys in the “Masters Of The Universe” ( MOTU ) series wanted destroyed. Hordak, Skeletor and the Snake Men wanted desperately to overrun Castle Grayskull and so become the new masters of the universe. The secrets inside the castle were their target. Mattel made their own plastic play set version of Castle Grayskull in the early 1980s.
The history and the suspense, as well as the power of Eternia and the MOTU series, are bound up in Castle Grayskull. The King who once ran the castle died defending it from the bad guys. The famous saying from He Man, “By the power of Grayskull!” is what brings on the complete transformation for himself and his tiger. She Ra, who has a different saying, uses this power as well. The Castle Grayskull is usually viewed from the outside in the Filmation series, but at times some rooms have been seen. The “Travel Corridor Chamber” and the “Throne Room” have been in some versions of the Filmation. The moat around the castle is supposedly a bottomless pit, but He Man has been overheard to say that it leads to the center of Eternia. The sword of power that He Man uses came from the “Crystal Chamber” that is inside Castle Grayskull.
The size of the Castle Grayskull play set is around 20 inches by 17 inches by 5 inches. The major color of the play set is green and it has silver doors with brown floors inside. A yellow gun defends the city from above. The front of the castle naturally has a skull face on it. They eyes of the skull are black and the drawbridge door is the “mouth”. Windows are made all around in the plastic play set, front and back. The drawbridge has the ability to be locked with one of the power swords of He Man. The sides are hinged to be able to open up Castle Grayskull. Inside is a weapons display included with a rack to hold them in. Another item is the rotating battering ram, which spins. Decals are on the inside floor of the castle. One is of a pit full of monsters for any evil intruder to fall into. A ladder is included for action figures to use to get to the upper level. A decal of a computer is included on the inside. It is accompanied by a functioning elevator. Carpet and a plastic throne round up the ambiance of the interior of the castle.
The Castle Grayskull serves as the focal point for children who want to enjoy the Masters Of The Universe action figures. The comics had Skeletor attacking the castle, but children have active imaginations as well. One of the cool features of the castle is the trap door. The throne on the second level turns and activates a trap door on the second level. This trap door is directly over the decal of the monster pit, so any bad men that dared to enter the throne room while He Man was sitting there were in for a big “surprise”. The double barrel gun on the top level turned to be able to target any villains that may arrive. The Castle Grayskull play set needed to be assembled before it could be used. A different Castle Grayskull was created in 2002, but some people liked the original 80’s castle better.
The Castle Grayskull play set can be found fairly easily. The AFA grading will determine the value of the play set for serious collectors. If you find one with an AFA grade of 75 can expect to pay over $1000. An ungraded castle in less than perfect shape will go for around $600 dollars. An unopened boxed play set with an AFA grade of 80 or more can go for as high as $1,500 dollars.